Ever since “I hope he fails” was uttered by Rush Limbaugh in 2009, Obama supporters (the ones who are left) have taken negative statements, interpreted them in the least meaningful way, and reacted with excessive outrage. In America, we have the right to free speech and the redress of grievances. I guess Obama supporters just don’t love America and the foundations of the Bill of Rights.
Rudolph Giuliani said the other day that he does not believe that Obama loves America, its people, or even understands America the way a lifelong resident does. First of all, Rudy did not say that Obama hates America. Second, he did not say that Obama is a traitor or working against America’s interests, which some people do believe. It’s more like Obama has acted indifferent to America as a unique place. He has said that there is no American exceptionalism and has taken an excessive number of opportunities to take America down a peg.
Unfortunately, Obama has succeeded against Limbaugh’s hopes. People are paying more for insurance, let alone actual health care. The job market and the economy are sluggish at best. Our foreign policy is so bad that we are now becoming a weapons depot for countries who know how to fight terror. Love of America is not the problem. If the CEO of Pepsi doesn’t like soda pop, he could still find ways to make the company more profitable. If Obama loves America, he still sucks at running it. If he really loved America, he should have stepped down by now for a better CEO.
The White House is fully engaged in the War on Terror. Unfortunately, they are only at war with the term “terror” especially when “Muslim” or “Islam” precedes it in a sentence. Flunkies are trying to frame Muslim hate as ennui over not having a good paying job or the ability to buy the new iPhone. Barack Obama has lived in Muslim countries before, but like his time in America, it was the privileged part. He brought the attitude of “the slaves look happy from my plantation window” to the rest of the administration. I can tell you right now, the people under ISIS are not worried about getting the new smart phone, they are worried about being dismembered for owning a smart phone.
The logic of terrorism with respect to Islam is untenable. It boils down to the belief that if the Western World doesn’t approve of it, it’s not “real” Islam. If a Muslim does something the Western World accepts, they are the true meaning of Islam. This is straight out of 1984. Big Brother doesn’t do anything bad because anything Big Brother does is no longer deemed bad. This is why moral relativism is immorality. You can’t make your core beliefs a moving target.
We see now that, like the Nazis, ISIS and smaller Islamic terrorists are turning up the heat. They are not just taking territory and killing people, they are using humans for a profit as slaves and attempting to sell their victims’ organs on the Black Market. Do they want a fight? Ideally, they want their enemies to lay down their arms in fear while they overwhelm them. They’re willing to test how far they can go before there is a significant response. Even then, they are prepared for The Fight, the one that is inevitable when they’ve made it impossible for their enemies not to respond. They think they can win that fight. We think we could win that fight, and we’re choosing not to fight it as long as possible.
I went to the movies today. I saw Birdman.
I did not see 50 Shades of Grey. However, that won’t stop me from commenting on it.
I’ve heard about this stupid story forever. I’ve also heard about “Grey’s” inspiration, the Twilight novel series, since nearly the beginning. I have a co-worker whose wife is an obsessed Twi-hard and he’s not much better. I do lack intimate knowledge of the pages of these literary ATMs, but I think there’s some interesting social commentary to be had.
Much has been made of the books and the bad writing, the naked consumerism and the emotionally abusive acts of Sadism without the masochism. It’s also been called “mommy porn,” to denote the majority audience and the allure of the subject matter. This has been disputed by some liberal critics as a dismissal of women’s sexuality. I call bullshit on that.
At the heart of this book, we have a young, mousy virgin who is consumed by a handsome, rich, erotically skilled demigod. He takes her on fantastic adventures, buys her expensive gifts, deflowers her in the most perfect manner and introduces her to all kinds of weird, exotic sex games. Through it all, he is a broken man who is somehow made whole by the love of this woman. Could this possibly check off more boxes in the bored housewife sex fantasy book?
At the core of this story are three things. There’s the Sadism that most readers would never want to try, but read about with curiosity in magazines or see in TV once in a while. There’s the money and fantasy of being able to go anywhere and do anything. Then there’s the perfect man who is so perfect that he even has a flaw that requires he be saved by the love of a good woman. Just as a way of spoiler, by the end of the book series, he drops all that weird spanking and whipping stuff most of the female audience wouldn’t want to do anyway.
Anastasia Steele is literally a whipping girl for all the unrealistic fantasies that readers can’t play out in real life. Those mommies may actually appreciate the fact that Ana has to suffer for the reward of the perfect life with the perfect guy. It’s the same old story, a handsome rogue is tamed by the love of the right woman. Plus, there’s some Audi commercials thrown in.
The administration’s plans to provide virtual amnesty for illegal immigrants has been blocked for the time being by the courts. This could very well still go their way because the Supreme Court has been famously weak-willed on any decision in this administration.
The real problem is that our “government” operates so far beyond the guidelines of the Constitution that it is about as ad hoc as Somalia. Obama has been using Executive Orders, which have technical limits, so he uses the letter of the law to violate the spirit of the law. Then, in the case of Obamacare, he constantly violates the letter of the hastily written law under the guise of following the spirit of the law. In other words, he does whatever he feels like and lets the lawyers figure it out.
Our legislature, conceived as a body of men and not partisans, is supposed to make these decisions. Instead, presidential orders were created so that Congress could blame the guy in charge for his individual actions. Every Executive Order could be overridden, but it would require the people of the same party as the president to exercise their duty. Instead, they let him do whatever he wants. The Democrats have paid a heavy price for that over the past 6 years, but apparently not enough.
So the victory of an activist court acting against a personal order ignored by a duly elected Congress is a positive outcome. The process, however, is all wrong.
I had the misfortune of watching the Saturday Night Live 40th Reunion. They got back most of the original cast members who were still alive and people wanted to see. The whole thing seemed very crafted, as if they wanted to give everyone a certain job and weave them together. That did not happen.
NBC blocked out something like 4.5 hours for this special, including a separate red carpet pre-show. I missed most of the show, so I was surprised by the Sarah Palin cameo. The clips were nostalgic in their way, but the cast members, some over 30 years older than the last time they appeared, aged better than others.
I have to admit, I might count out SNL having a 50th anniversary. Doctor Who looked iffy for a while there. I’m just scared to see what it would look like.
Sometimes it’s amazing to know your place.
There was a point in the 2008 presidential campaign when Oprah, the queen of talk, decided that she was more aligned with Black advancement than female advancement by supporting Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. After Obama’s election, he was seen as non-religious in a way that mimics the direction of society. An atheist killed three Muslims neighbors in Chapel Hill and Obama has deemed it a crime of hate. I think we have a good idea which faith Obama sides with.
There is a level of deference one can show toward Muslims while condemning the Muslim nations who condone and support terrorism. George W. Bush did that. During the Iraq War, it was a policy not to blow up mosques, even though they were the most solid structure in some cities. Obama is something altogether. No Muslim terrorist is doing so in the name of Islam. Christian actions from a millennium ago are comparable to Muslim atrocities of last week.
For decades, people have been pointing out the flaws in the Islamic faith and have been attacked, threatened and killed for it. In the Western World, they were outliers who seemingly had an ax to grind. Now the holy war is coming to the rest of the world. Atheists who were ignored by Muslims are now becoming a threat. After calling religious people (Christians) bigots against them for decades, they face the kind of bigotry which leaves them headless corpses.
Terrorists by their nature fight an asymmetrical war. They threaten the stuff other people have because they don’t have the burden of nice things. In the name of caring, much of the world has tried to make warfare more symmetrical by not dropping the nukes that would obliterate them and their families.
Here’s the problem for savages. Despite claims to the contrary, atheists are generally amoral. Even though Christians believe dead people float off to a cloud in the sky, Christian doctors are less likely than non-religious ones to euthanize people for the sake of medical savings. So imagine what happens when real atheists start holding positions of power. They will do the cold calculations that show a clean, weapons based mass murder will solve the problem of religious zealots who don’t shut up and take their abuse. And they think Christians and Jews are bad.
In the midst of wallowing in my own misery, I read a New York Times article about the victims and perpetrators (and sometimes also victims) of Tweet mobs. The primary victim in the story is Justine Sacco. She tweeted to her handful of followers the remark “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Sacco was actually visiting family in South Africa, unlike the majority of people who went after her who never left the American continent. It seems that she was making what would be called a “meta” joke, where she was mocking the ignorance of people who think Africa only has Black people and everyone has AIDS. Regardless of her intent, thousands of indignant tweets to her, her employer and websites who take joy in the failings of others got her fired before that plane to Africa touched ground.
Her story is a tough one, and is only a year old. The person who made a story about it on a Gawker site, Sam Biddle, eventually got into a firestorm when he argued to bring back bullying. He eventually apologized for the Sacco story. Another tale in the NYT article is about a tech employee who made a quiet joke to a friend at a conference. A woman nearby tweeted it with his picture. He was fired, then she was fired after a cyber attack demanding her termination took down her employer.
My personal belief is that “Hollywood” and the entertainment industry became enamored with communists who were blacklisted, co-opted by socialist liberals and became the financial base of the Democratic Party. The Democrats were the first to weaponize public outrage. They took down Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination because he was too conservative and tried to take down Clarence Thomas. In social media, when political opinions offend them, liberals have resorted to ancient practices of deadly combat to have satisfaction.
Still, I think the harsh tactics have invaded both sides, Conservatives have the luxury of mostly going after big targets because there is so much left-wing paid media out there. When a mob goes after one private person who isn’t paid to tweet and post, it’s an ugly thing. I could see myself losing a job over a smart assed remark, so I try to avoid them at work. I’d hate to know that what I say anywhere could cost my livelihood.
Howard Dean went to college a lot. He graduated from medical school in the Bronx (how low-class). He used his Yale college years to major in political science (what a waste). Her served as governor of Vermont for 12 years, originally appointed by default when the previous governor died. He ran for president, had lukewarm grassroots support and failed miserably after screaming in a concession speech.
This week, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was asked “Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you believe in it, do you accept it?” That’s actually three questions. That the question was asked, especially after the moderator prefaced it as a Republican-specific question, was intended to be uncomfortable. Believing in evolution implies that it is a matter of faith, which is actually contrary to the idea that it’s settled science. Accepting evolution is closer to reality, but acceptance assumes that the concept is unacceptable.
The question itself is designed to hurt a Republican candidate with their base, but also put them in a position where they have to defend against the prejudice that Republicans don’t understand the world around them. Walker answered by “punting” the question, not answering it because it has nothing to do with politics. However, he came back the next day and issued a statement, which put the lie to that response.
George W. Bush decided early on he would not answer questions about his lifestyle as a young man, including specific questions about drug use. Any answer would lead to more questions and none of the responses would end the issue. The occasional unreliable witness would say Bush did a bunch of blow in the 80’s, but his refusal to play the game meant there was no statement to impeach. It is obvious that evolution policy is not part of governance.
Howard Dean, a staple of MSNBC “news,” wanted to connect an evolution non-answer to the fact that Walker did not graduate college. The graduation issue says a lot about the state of education in this country. Each generation has a higher level of college education, but a lower percentage of college graduate employment. If a college student gets offered a job in the Obama economy, they should take the job. You can always get more college. Besides that, a college degree independent of specialization doesn’t really prepare one for a career. Howard Dean and Barack Obama have undergraduate degrees in political science, but we call one a doctor and one a lawyer because their 4 year degree is unimportant in the scheme of things.
Scott Walker has something we call job experience. He’s been a community organizer, (for the Red Cross) a state legislator, a county executive and a governor. He has more political experience than Dean or Obama did when they ran for president. Anyone can pay tuition, show up to class and get a degree. That’s easy. Getting hired is hard.
According to Obama, the US should bring military into Iraq to train local forces into fighting someone called Isil. I don’t know who that is, but we have ISIS to worry about right now. At a certain point, Americans objected to a plan that caused many soldiers to lose their lives with no success. Then the surge brought some lasting success. Death is a part of war. Bush lost the country when he lost focus and followed the Rumsfeld plan until the Republicans lost the 2006 Congressional Elections.
Obama is yet again badly following a version of Bush’s strategy. In this case, it’s a political strategy. The day after the GOP was dethroned, he decided not to stay the course any longer and requested Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. That quickly led to a military strategy of bringing in enough targeted forces to hold large parts of Iraq. That would require some presence for years to come, something Obama would not accept at the time.
Now, he has decided that we will need to build back up to the point where Bush left off. His foreign libertarian leaning are doing it on the cheap. He wants to send in advisers and trainers, along with some equipment and weapons, to get other countries to put their people at risk. It would be a good idea, except that Obama left many supporters of the US to die by pulling out early. Why trust the US if you can’t rely on them?
Fight or don’t fight. This plan is only to prove he’s doing something when he’s not. Any Americans killed in this exercise will die for almost nothing. Jordan is getting the job done with a population 2% of the size of the US and Obama wants to steal some valor.